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Most Recent Article,Abney Hall,Apple,Architecture,Art,Astronomy,BBC,
Books,Blackpool,Buffet,Burns and Allen,Butlin's,Celtic,Channel Tunnel,Cheshire,Agatha Christie,Cinema,Computers,Critics,
Hammer Films,Hindle Wakes,Miss Horniman,Stanley Houghton,Internet,
Manchester,Midland Hotel,Midsummer Night's Dream,Miscellaneous,Ron Mueck,Northenden,Oasis Club,Joe Orton,Personal,Photography,
Prince of Wales,

J,Most Recent Article,Manchester,2017,Oasis Club
Chuck Berry
Juvenile DelinquestJan 2017
In the early 60s, the sister of a friend became the manager of a Manchester music club that was destined to become part of 60s music mythology.

Wembley,Channel Tunnel,2015
Absalom Watkin
The Nearly Man of NorthendenJune 2015
He was the man from Northenden, Manchester, who could have completed the channel tunnel 100 years before it was eventually built.
And if Edward Watkin had had his way, Wembley Stadium would have been a replica Eiffel Tower.

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Hooray for JollywoodJanuary 2014
For nearly seven glorious years, Manchester was the home of of a major challenge to post-war Hollywood.

Books,UK,2013,Cheshire,Writers,Agatha Christie,Abney Hall,S
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The Secret of Chimneys October 2013
Agatha Christie and the birth of Hercule Poirot.

Cinema,Personal,2013,Hammer Films,Manchester,Personal,H
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Hell Is A CitySeptember 2013
Hell is a City was a feature film made by Hammer Films late in 1959. Focusing on gangsters and crime in the city of Manchester. It starred Stanley Baker and the wonderful Billie Whitelaw. And me.

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A Clown With His Arm RaisedSeptember 2013
Next month sees the anniversary of the suicide of the French artist, Bernard Buffet.
Bernard who?

Hindle Wakes,Stanley Houghton,Miss Horniman,Theatre, 2013,A
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Auntie MayAugust 2013
How I learned never to take anyone for granted.

Midsummer Night's Dream,RSC,Shakespeare,Theatre,2013,D
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The DreamJuly 2013
Peter Brook's seminal production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Stratford.

La Grotte de Perrats
The BraconneMarch 2013
Following my last post, a few people have asked me whereabouts the Casque d’Agris (helmet) was found…

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That Which GlistersMarch 2013
We used to own a house in France…

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Our True IntentFebruary 2013
I've never been to a Butlin's Holiday Camp…

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Reading Between the LinesFevruary 2013
The word ‘transparency’ has become a bit of a cliché recently, invoked in almost all aspects of society; government, business, social services and even religion…

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Designing Books Is No Laughing MatterApril 2012
OK, so it is.

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HeatherwickipediaApril 2012
A new London bus took to the public roads recently, nearly fifty years since the last one specifically designed for the capital, the much-loved Routemaster…

Prince of Wales,Personal,2011,D
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Dancing With the Prince of WalesNovember 2011
Back in the early 1980s, I sometimes used to share a car journey to London with a then-colleague.
It was quite a trek to Kensington, and our conversations ranged far and wide, as they do…

Joe Orton,Writers,Books,2011,G
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The Gorilla in the RosesOctober 2011
In the 1960s, playwright Joe Orton and his lover were sent to prison…

Ron Mueck,Art,2010,W
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Wild ManMay 2010
The amazing body sculptures of Ron Mueck…

Burns and Allen,Personal,2010,S
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Say Goodnight, GracieMay 2010
I seem to have had a few of what I call 'Gracie Allen' moments recently…

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The Fall and Rise of A VoiceMarch 2010
Film critics in the UK never seem to achieve anything like the celebrity status of their counterparts in America…

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The Magic AppleFebruary 2010
There can't be many people who will have failed to notice that, at the end of January, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, announced their new tablet-netbook-thingy, now officially known as the iPad…

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A Tanner for the FirstMay 2009
I don't remember my very first trip to Blackpool…

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Coined by ShakespeareDecember 2008
We recently went to see a production of The Scottish Play by the National Youth Theatre, with the lead rôle taken by Sam Edge, the young son of a friend of ours…

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Perchance To DreamDecember 2008
Last night, I had a dream about Shakespeare.
Yes, really…

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Power to the PeopleOctober 2008
The BBC recently ran a news story suggesting that intelligent surfing of the web is actually more stimulating to the brain than reading a book…

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RadioAugust 2008
It’s radio alright, but not as we know it…

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The Power of 10June 2008
There are 10 kinds of people in the world…

Midland Hotel,Art,Architecture,2008,M
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The Midland HotelJune 2008
On a sunny afternoon in July 1933, a remarkable building opened its doors to the public for the first time…

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Rhythms of Modern LifeMay 2008
Between the two World Wars, a number of British artists, including many printmakers, created bold new works that reflected pioneering art movements imported from the Continent, such as Italian Futurism and French Cubism…

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In Jobs We TrustMay 2008
About three weeks ago, following the announcement of an upgrade from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, I got the wonderful new iMac, just about the most elegant computer on the planet…

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HyperionApril 2008
Some years ago, I used to use NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day to provide a daily changing desktop picture on my computer…

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GalileoApril 2008
As the astronomical world celebrates the 400th anniversary of Galileo's development of the telescope…

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FantômasMarch 2008
Stretching his immense shadow
Across the world and across Paris,…

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French ImpressionsMarch 2008
Adolphe Valette was born in Saint-Étienne, near Lyon, France, in 1876.
Nobody knows quite why it was, in 1904, he chose to live and work in Manchester…

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Made in ManchesterFebruary 2008
Some time ago, a friend of mine sent me an email in which he announced that the subject of his message was 'Made in Manchester’. It was a Powerpoint presentation on the construction of the Millau Viaduct in France, the highest bridge in the world…

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Les Quatre Cents CoupsJanuary 2008
I was intrigued, and pleased, when a friend of mine posted a YouTube video on his blog of a puppet show scene from the François Truffault film, Les Quatre Cents Coups…

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Another SoundJanuary 2008
About a vaguely-remembered statue by Antony Gormley that stood in the crypt of Winchester Cathedral…

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The Royal ArchJanuary 2008
The curious Royal Arch in Dundee, Scotland, built between 1849 and 1853, is no more…

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A Puzzling PlaceJanuary 2008
A friend of mine has been compiling crosswords for The Observer for quite a long time now…

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A Crowded PlaceJanuary 2008
The most crowded country in Europe?…

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Another PlaceDecember 2007
I remember seeing a photo some time ago of a bronze figure standing in water, in a crypt somewhere. I think it was at Winchester Cathedral…

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Formby BeachDecember 2007
Formby Beach is just south of Southport in Lancashire…

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RabelaisDecember 2007
Then he threw on the deck before us whole handfuls of frozen words, which looked like crystallized sweets of different colours…